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patient advocacy

November is Ocular Melanoma Awareness Month

November is Ocular Melanoma Awareness month – and it is the time of year we at Save Your Skin Foundation and Ocumel Canada bring extra public awareness to the importance of dilated eye exams for the detection of ocular melanoma.

Through our work, we will continue the conversation and maintain the #EyeGetDilated campaign beyond November, so that all Canadians can learn about their options for head to toe body health and to include eye checks in their list of doctor exams.

Early detection is incredibly important for many eye diseases, including ocular melanoma. Ocular melanoma is rare, affecting approximately five in a million people. About 200 cases are diagnosed per year in Canada. While it represents only 5% of melanomas, ocular melanoma can be rapid and aggressive, accounting for 9% of melanoma deaths. Also referred to as uveal melanoma, ocular is a more inclusive term; 90% of primary ocular melanoma develops in the choroid.

To read more about the importance of annual dilated eye exams, click on Brianne’s story below:

We are proud to have partnered with the groups BC Doctors of Optometry and Alberta Association of Optometrists!

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information about Ocumel Canada and the work we do, visit any of the following pages:

OcumelCanada.ca

About Ocular Melanoma

Helpful Links

Resources and Support

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with primary or metastatic ocular melanoma, connect with our community of support, Canadian bilingual Facebook group:  Ocular Melanoma Connect/Connexion mélanome oculaire 

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Upcoming Webinar: Prognostic Testing and What It Means to Ocular Melanoma Patients

Join us for a free webinar on Wednesday, September 14 at 5pm PST | 8pm EST.

In this webinar, Katherina Alsina, PhD, Castle BioSciences, Dr. Ezekiel Weis, Provincial Medical Lead, Alberta Ocular Brachytherapy Program, and Dr. Marcus Butler, Medical Oncologist, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, will help patients understand prognostic testing when diagnosed with Ocular Melanoma. They will also discuss options for HCPs for prognostic testing, what it can mean to patients and how it can affect treatment decisions. The presentations will be followed by a live Q&A session.
Click here to register
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Big steps forward in OM treatment & support in Canada

Ocumel Canada in the News

As Ocumel Canada continues to support and advocate for patients touched by ocular melanoma (OM), we are happy to see a monumental step forward in the treatment of this disease across Canada. Last week, Health Canada granted a notice of compliance (NOC) for Kimmtrak® (tebentafusp) for the treatment of metastatic ocular melanoma, closely following approvals in the United States, Australia, and the European Union.

Many patients with this rare cancer have been needing to travel from their home provinces coast to coast – to Toronto – for treatment, which is not an ideal situation for any patient, as they need to be close to their home and support system for ease and comfort as they fight this disease. Ocumel Canada is happy to report that in partnership with treating Physicians and Partners we are making progress in this situation and getting patients treated closer to home.

Global News spoke to two patients in this interview, click HERE to watch the recording.

Ocumel Canada and Save Your Skin Foundation applaud Health Canada’s approval of Kimmtrak® (tebentafusp) for the treatment of unresectable or metastatic uveal melanoma in HLA-A*02:01-positive adult patients. We now hope that every province and territory will take swift steps to list this drug on their public formularies in order to make this therapy available to patients across Canada.

We thank all patients and their caregivers who shared their experience and feedback to this process. To learn more about this immunotherapy treatment and the approval, read our full press release by clicking HERE.

To add to all of this great news – we wish to invite all Canadian OM patients or caregivers to join the VISION Registry, an online research database created by our friends at CureOM, Melanoma Research Foundation.

The database will allow researchers to better understand ocular melanoma (OM) as well as the needs and preferences of patients. For example, researchers can look at the socio-demographics, genetics, accompanying conditions, and treatments of patients from around the world and any potential links to OM that might exist.

The research will also look at patients’ experience from onset of symptoms to confirmed diagnosis and how that can be improved.

For the VISION Registry to be successful we need as many patients as possible to securely share their data. There is power in numbers!  Please register and add your information to the registry. We are eager to learn together to advance knowledge and eventually find a cure for OM.

(At this time, the registry is available in English only, but we are working on a French-Canadian translation, stay tuned!)

Click here to learn more and join the Vision Registry: https://melanoma.org/visionregistry/

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Looking Back at 2021

Our 2021 Annual Reports are out now!

It’s always a rewarding experience to look back on the past year and see how much the Foundation has accomplished.

Despite another year amid the pandemic, Save Your Skin Foundation and Ocumel Canada have continued to grow partnerships, operations and services, and reach more people touched by melanoma, non-melanoma skin cancer and ocular melanoma.

We are extremely grateful to our community of patients, caregivers, healthcare providers and sponsors who continue to inspire and support us in our endeavors.

Click on the images below to view the reports:

 

 

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Webinar: Diagnosed with Skin Cancer? Here’s What To Do Next

View the recording of our webinar ~ February 24, 2022

An Hour with Kathy Barnard

In this webinar, Kathy Barnard, founder of SYSF and melanoma survivor, shares her experience navigating and advocating through the Canadian health care system, which is complicated and can be confusing to many. She helps patients and caregivers understand how to get from diagnosis to surgical and/or systemic treatment of melanoma or non-melanoma skin cancer (NMSC) such as metastatic basal cell carcinoma (BCC), squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) or merkel cell carcinoma (MCC).

Click HERE to view the recording!

And click HERE to download/print a list of Questions you can ask your Doctor

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Continuing Ocular Melanoma Awareness all year round

November is Ocular Melanoma Awareness month – and it is the time of year we at Ocumel Canada bring awareness to the importance of dilated eye exams for the detection of ocular melanoma.

We will take this opportunity though, to continue the conversation and maintain the #EyeGetDilated campaign beyond November, so that all Canadians can learn about their options for head to toe body health and to include eye checks in their list of doctor exams.

Early detection is incredibly important for many eye diseases, including ocular melanoma. Ocular melanoma is rare, affecting approximately five in a million people. About 200 cases are diagnosed per year in Canada. While it represents only 5% of melanomas, ocular melanoma can be rapid and aggressive, accounting for 9% of melanoma deaths. Also referred to as uveal melanoma, ocular is a more inclusive term; 90% of primary ocular melanoma develops in the choroid.

To read more about the importance of annual dilated eye exams, click on Sheila and Leanne’s stories:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We are proud to have partnered with the groups BC Doctors of Optometry and Alberta Association of Optometrists! Please click here to learn more about them and how they have supported the #EyeGetDilated campaign this year:

 

 

For more information about Ocumel Canada and the work we do, visit any of the following pages:

OcumelCanada.ca

Ocumel Canada – About Ocular Melanoma

Ocumel Canada – Helpful Links

Ocumel Canada – Resources and Support

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with primary or metastatic ocular melanoma, connect with our community of support, Canadian bilingual Facebook group:  Ocular Melanoma Connect/Connexion mélanome oculaire 

Read more

6th Annual Patients Redefining the Future of Health Care in Canada Summit

6th Annual Patients Redefining the Future of Health Care in Canada Summit
 
Patients Redefining the Future of Health Care in Canada: COVID-19’s Echo Pandemics — the Way Forward
 
Week of November 15, 2021:
  • November 15 Echo Pandemics in Healthcare
  • November 17  Echo Pandemics in Indigenous Health
  • November 18 Echo Pandemics: The Way Forward
  • November 19  Patient Planning Session

 

Click HERE for more information: Agenda, Speakers, and Recording Links

 

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1 Week Until the Federal Election: Make Healthcare a Priority

Take Action Before September 20

Send your local federal candidates a letter using our easy, automated website. You can customize the message to address issues important to you.  Having local candidates hear directly from patients is very powerful.

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed our healthcare system beyond its breaking point, as the system provided care to the overwhelming number of COVID-19 patients, while endeavouring to maintain care for all other patients.

Advocating for change has never been simpler and will only take you a few seconds.

Regardless of ability to pay, or where they live, Canadians should not be reliant on “the postal code lottery.” All Canadians deserve to have health care placed at the center of the commitments of our future government.

Contact your candidates now to have your voice heard! Automatically send a letter to your local candidates that you can personalize as much or as little as you want.

Click HERE to encourage Government to Make Healthcare a Priority

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Calling All Non-Melanoma Skin Cancer Patients – Survey 2021

We invite all non-melanoma skin cancer patients having had surgical procedure(s) and/or systemic treatment to take this 10-minute anonymous survey to share their feedback:

The Patient Experience: Surgical and Systemic Treatment of Advanced Basal Cell Carcinoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma Skin Cancers

Information gathered from this survey will be part of Save Your Skin Foundation’s recommendations to the CADTH Common Drug Review (CDR) and the pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review (pCODR), and will help us better understand discussions that skin cancer patients have with their surgeons along the treatment continuum.

This survey is now closed.  Thanks to All for their feedback and support.

Stay tuned for the resulting report. 

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#InItTogether Campaign – Melanoma Is Personal

We’ve teamed up with Hayley Wickenheiser again this year to bring awareness to those coping with a melanoma diagnosis.  Summer is here, but if you’re not protecting yourself from the sun, the damage can be far-reaching. Melanoma is one of the top 10 cancers diagnosed in Canada and getting a diagnosis can be scary. Arming yourself with the right information you can literally change the course of your melanoma experience.

Ask about your mutation type. Do your research to find out your options. And know you are not alone in this.

Some Patients, Survivors, and Caregivers from the Save Your Skin Foundation family have come together share their story to inspire education and hope.

“I am newly diagnosed with metastatic malignant melanoma, and I plan to survive it.” – SHERI

“My melanoma came back, but I’m not letting fear in.” – BOB

“I was in end-of-life care when my doctor recommended I take part in a clinical trial.” – MIKE

“Learning that my melanoma was BRAF+ was a huge weight off my shoulders. That knowledge shaped my path through the disease.” – COLIN

“Melanoma research literally saved my life. Today I’m surrounded with the support of the melanoma community and I know they have my back.” – NATALIE

Check out this article in Elle magazine, dedicated to Canadians who have their own personal melanoma stories: 

ELLE Canada – Summer is Back ~ Do you know what you need to know about melanoma?

Check out these “Melanoma is Personal” videos on YouTube   And click here to see more clips on the SYSF youTube channel

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